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World Outlander Day

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Tragedy, hope and time travel… you know there is only one thing we could be talking about – Outlander! Today marks the 25th anniversary of the release of the first book in this historical fiction series by Diana Gabaldon, so it is only right that this day is marked World Outlander Day.

To mark the occasion, we caught up with the folks from Caithness Glass to learn how our beautiful limited edition Outlander inspired paperweight was made in five simple steps.

1. Molten glass is picked up using an iron rod, and then blocked into shape using a curved hardwood block.

molten glass

2. Coloured glass powder is then picked up.

Coloured glass powder being picked up by cooling glass

3. The paperweight is cut with tools to make it easier to knock the finished item off the iron.

3. The paperweight is cut with tools to make it easier to knock the finished item off the iron.

4. The paperweight is placed in an annealing kiln, where it takes up to 15 hours to cool down

Glass paperweight being placed in an annealing kiln where it takes up to 15 hours to cool down

5. The paperweights are then inspected for quality and design

purple and white glass paperweights on a white table. One is being held up for inspection by a pair of hands

 

 

As fans will know, the fictional standing stones of Craigh na Dun are where the Outlander saga begins as nurse Claire Randall stepps through the cleft stone from 1945 into 1743. This fictional prehistoric stone circle is thought to be based on one of the sites in our care, Clava Cairns – and the standing stones are the focal point of our paperweight. 

To re-create the patina and character of the mosses, lichens and thousands of years of ageing on these ancient stones, many layers of different glass colours and textures are built up. Firstly a ‘gather’ of clear glass on the end of an iron rod is skilfully shaped by hand. The stones themselves are created by using specially shaped metal forms to push layers of colour up into the molten clear glass. These forms are then quickly removed leaving the ‘stones’ embedded in the paperweight.  Green powdered glass is then melted and swirled to emulate the colour and movement of a wild Scottish meadow, complete with a scattering of yellow millefiori cane ‘buttercups’.  Finally, the paperweight is partially dipped in molten kingfisher coloured glass which gives us the clarity and brilliance of a springtime sky.

 

 

green and blue paperweight with standing stones image inside

 

 And voila – the finished Outlander inspired paperweight. It truly is something special!

Have you visited our online shop? We have a whole collection dedicated to Outlander, from key rings to mugs, from cushions to clothing – and of course, paperweights. 

Several of our properties also have a starring role in the Outlander TV series.  Uncover the romance and drama of Scottish history at the real-life locations featured in this gripping story with our special Outlander Itinerary

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From time to time we have guest posts from suppliers, visitors and friends of Historic Scotland.

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